Jewish 'Interpol' to rescue agunot

New organization would crack down on men who refuse to give wives a divorce.

aguna 88 (photo credit: )
aguna 88
(photo credit: )
Men who refuse to grant their wives a Jewish divorce ("Get") and disappear in order to avoid a verdict on the dissolution of their marriage may soon be forced to cooperate, with the launch of a new Jewish "Interpol" style organization. A new enforcement and information organization will be discussed at a judicial conference of leading rabbis and Jewish religious judges, organized by the Rabbinical Centre of Europe (RCE), to be held at the start of December in Brussels. The organization would operate in conjunction with European rabbinical courts to ensure the immediate transfer of information to community leaders and rabbis on men who flee a verdict or refuse to issue an annulment and continue living in a place where their past is unknown. The organization will provide information on the person and will try and force them to issue a decree. A spokesman for the Rabbinical Centre of Europe said: "This recommendation will be placed at the centre of the discussion panel in light of the many requests regarding divorce refusers not paying heed to court verdicts. "Many dayanim are currently encountering such situations where men flee to continue living a Jewish life in a place where their past is unknown. This new initiative will put an end to this activity and the torment it can create for women unable to obtain a 'Get'." Dayan Yisrael Yaacov Lichtenstein, head of the Beth Din of the Federation of Synagogues in London, gave his support to the project. He said: "This is an effective method to help the agunah problem, and we call upon all parties worldwide to assist us in this project." The RCE is the representative body for Rabbis in Europe, and its work covers a range of Jewish legal matters including the provision of religious requirements, as well as articles and advice on fundraising and developing relations between communities, lay leaders and local, regional and European politicians.